Lewes, Delaware

Lewes, DelawareThe town of Lewes got its start back in 1631 when a little more than two-dozen men from Holland sailed to the New World to establish a whale-oil colony along the western shores of the Delaware Bay. As the fort of Swanendael, or Valley of the Swans, was centralized, a misunderstanding between the colonists and the native people led to the fort's destruction and the colonists' massacre. Given the initial colonization of Swanendael, this allows Lewes to lay claim to being "the First Town in the First State."

By 1682, William Penn was granted the three lower counties that now make up Delaware as part of his Pennsylvania territory. Penn decided to name the southernmost county for Sussex, England, his home province, and renamed Deale as Lewes after the port city in Sussex, England.

The town thrived as people arrived and merchants set up shop over the years. Churches and a courthouse were built as the town grew and became a busy port where ships would restock supplies. Lewes also served as the seat of Sussex County until 1791 when the government was relocated to Georgetown, a more central location.

By the 1960s, the menhaden business bottomed out. The fish that had produced an industry disappeared and the companies that relied on it had moved on. The loss of that industry, as well as a clam factory, marked a monumental change for Lewes.

Lewes, DelawareFrom 1990 to 2000, nearly 700 additional full-time residents settled in to make Lewes their new home. The population, according to the 2000 census, came in at a little more than 2,900 people.

With nearly four centuries of history, Lewes has been transformed from a community of whalers and fishermen to one that is equally dependent on the sea, but in a much different way. Tourism has helped fuel a 20-year growth spurt in Lewes. Picturesque beach homes have replaced quaint cottages amid the sand dunes, and hardware stores and mom-and-pop stores have made way for bistros and boutiques. The new wave of residents has come seeking a slower paced lifestyle, lower taxes, and the lack of urban crime.

Lewes also remains an east coast port of call and is home to a large fleet of charter fishing boats. It is likewise the base of the Delaware Bay and River Pilots Association, whose members guide cargo vessels to and from the ports of Wilmington and Philadelphia. Lewes is also the site of the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies and is the southern terminal for the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.

Lewes Map

Lewes Weather

November 24 @ 2:55am
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clear sky
Hi: 28° | Lo: 27°
Wind: NW @ 8mph
November 24 @ 4:00am
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clear sky
Hi: 40° | Lo: 30°
Wind: NW @ 8mph
November 24 @ 7:00am
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clear sky
Hi: 40° | Lo: 32°
Wind: NW @ 6mph
November 24 @ 10:00am
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clear sky
Hi: 45° | Lo: 40°
Wind: WNW @ 4mph
November 24 @ 1:00pm
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clear sky
Hi: 48° | Lo: 45°
Wind: SW @ 3mph
November 24 @ 4:00pm
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clear sky
Hi: 48° | Lo: 48°
Wind: S @ 6mph

Lewes Events

November 25, 1:00pm - 3:00pm


The Rehoboth Beach Film Society is proud to present the Metropolitan Opera’s live broadcast of Thomas Adès’s harrowing tale, THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL, on Saturday, November 25 at 1:00 PM and Monday, November 27 at 1:00 PM. Please note that screenings are now being held at the Cinema Art Theater and will be shown as a recorded presentation one week after being filmed live. Each performance will be shown on both a Saturday and Monday. Audience members will be allowed to eat and drink concessions sold onsite in the Theater. They will also appreciate the wonderful sound quality, as well as the comfortable seats. The Met: Live in HD season continues with the American premiere of Thomas Adès’s opera, THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL, inspired by the classic Luis Buñuel film of the same name. Hailed by the “New York Times” at it's 2016 Salzburg Festival premiere as “inventive and audacious … a major event,” THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL is a surreal fantasy about a dinner party from which the guests can’t escape. Tom Cairns, who wrote the libretto, directs the new production, and Adès conducts his own adventurous new opera. The large cast includes Amanda Echalaz as Lucia, Joseph Kaiser as Edmundo, Audrey Luna as Leticia, and Christian Van Horn as Julio. At a luxurious mansion, home of Edmundo and Lucía De Nobile, guests are expected for dinner, but strange things are happening. While the guests enjoy their food, the servants disappear one by one. Afterward, the visitors retire to the salon for an evening of music and conversation, but in the morning, they are mysteriously incapable of leaving the room. As days go by and they run out of food and water, panic and madness set in. The army and the police arrive but fail in their attempts to enter the house as conditions inside deteriorate. [Sung in English. Runtime: 2 hours, 40 minutes, with one intermission]. In addition to the opera performance, the HD series features Met opera stars conducting live interviews with cast and/or various production crew members while showing behind-the-scene workings. This production is the third in The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD series of 10 dates of live simulcast transmissions for 2017–18. Admission for The Met: Live in HD broadcasts is $25 for adults, $22 for RBFS members, Met members, and seniors (65+); $15 for Students (with ID), and children (12 and under). Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Online reservations may be made with MasterCard or VISA. Admission will be available at the door for any unsold seats. Doors open at 12:30 PM. The mission of the RBFS is promoting cinematic arts and providing education and cultural enrichment for our community. The Film Society sponsors ongoing screenings, special events, and the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival (Nov. 2-12, 2017). Having met all the requirements for best practices in nonprofit management, the Rehoboth Beach Film Society is accredited by the Standards for Excellence Institute®. The Film Society is funded, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com. For more information on this series, other events, or to become a member, visit the Rehoboth Beach Film Society website at www.rehobothfilm.com, or call 302-645-9095.

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November 28, 6:00pm - 8:00pm


Join us for a fun night of Bingo!

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November 30, 5:00pm - 8:00pm


“Hospitality Night—Victorian Yule-Tide Celebration.” Holiday-themed program in which the museum will be decorated for the season by the Sussex Gardeners including luminarias lighting the entrance walkway. Activities will include historical interpreters, demonstrations, music and seasonal refreshments.

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November 30, 5:00pm - 8:00pm


Historic Lewes Commercial Areas' businesses host evening shopping with complimentary refreshments. Join in the fun a with live music and Santa greeting visitors, too!!

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December 1, 6:30pm - 9:30pm


Featuring a live and silent auctions, cocktails, dinner, a performance by Pamela Stanley, plus an exclusive Art Show and Sale. All proceeds benefit the Children's Beach House and our mission to help kids with special needs in Delaware.

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Lewes Restaurants

Bob Evans Farms RestaurantLewes, DE302-645-0871
Cafe AzafranLewes, DE302-644-4446
China GardenLewes, DE302-645-6445
Fish On!Lewes, DE302-645-9790
Fisherman's WharfLewes, DE302-645-8862
Gilligan's Waterfront RestaurantLewes, DE302-644-0723
Hing Wang Chinese RestaurantLewes, DE302-645-0889
Irish EyesLewes, DE302-645-6888
JD ShuckersLewes, DE302-945-8850
Lemon Tree RestaurantLewes, DE302-645-0481
Mr. P Pizza & PastaLewes, DE302-645-1900
Pelican GrilleLewes, DE302-945-6620
Striper BitesLewes, DE302-645-4657
Surf Bagel & DeliLewes, DE302-644-1822
The ButteryLewes, DE302-645-7755
The WharfLewes, De302-645-6271
Tijuana TaxiLewes, DE302-644-8294
Tokyo SteakhouseLewes, DE302-645-9728

Lewes Shopping

Albert Frank's Fine JewelryLewes, DE302-645-1718
Aquamarine on MarketLewes, DE302-644-4550
Auntie M's EmporiumLewes, DE302-644-1804
Back Bay Art Glass, LLCLewes, DE302-645-1825
Blooming BoutiqueLewes, DE302-644-2463
Cape Henlopen WickerLewes, DE302-644-2000
Chatelaine's JewelryLewes, DE302-645-1511
Creative ConceptsLewes, DE302-645-6200
Habersham Peddler InteriorsLewes, DE302-645-8383
Heritage Antique MarketLewes, DE302-645-2309
Josephine Keir Ltd- Antiques, Fine Arts & RugsLewes, DE302-645-9047
Journey'sLewes, DE302-645-1475
Kids' KetchLewes, DE302-645-8448
Lewes GourmetLewes, DE302-645-1661
Lewes Mercantile Antique GalleryLewes, DE302-645-7900
Mare's Bears Quilt ShopLewes, DE302-644-0556
Mugs & StitchesLewes, DE302-360-3600
P.U.P.S. of LewesLewes, DE302-645-9010
PiccolinoLewes, DE302-644-7611
PuzzlesLewes, DE302-645-8013
The Beach JettyLewes, DE302-645-4606
The Furniture GalleryLewes, DE302-645-7043
The Soap FairyLewes, DE302-645-4596
The Stepping StoneLewes, DE302-645-1254
Trader's Jewelry & GiftsLewes, DE302-645-6536
Twila Farrell / The FigureheadLewes, DE302-645-7007
Two Friends, Ltd.Lewes, DE302-644-0477
Very EuropeanLewes, DE302-644-7778

Lewes Lodging

Beacon MotelLewes, DE302-645-4888
Blue Water HouseLewes, DE302-645-7832
Cape Henlopen MotelLewes, DE302-645-2828
Hotel BlueLewes, DE302-645-4880
Hotel RodneyLewes, DE302-645-6466
Inn at Canal SquareLewes, DE302-644-3377
King's InnLewes, DE302-645-6438
Lazy L at Willow CreekLewes, DE302-644-7220
Red Mill InnLewes, DE302-645-9736
Sleep Inn & SuitesLewes, DE302-644-8796
Sleep Inn & SuitesLewes, DE302-645-6464
Vesuvio MotelLewes, DE302-645-2224
Virden House Bed & BreakfastLewes, DE302-644-4402

Lewes Real Estate

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